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Smith: Bangladesh are a dangerous side

  • Published at 04:06 pm August 31st, 2017
Smith: Bangladesh are a dangerous side
Australia captain Steven Smith admitted Bangladesh have come a long way in recent years and that they have converted themselves into a competitive side. The Aussies were well on course for victory in the first session of day four as at one stage, they were cruising on 158 runs for the loss of two wickets. But a late collapse, spearheaded by all-rounder Shakib al Hasan, saw the visiting side fall 20 short and succumb to a heartbreaking defeat. “They've certainly come a long way over the last couple of years. I think they're a dangerous side, particularly here at home as we've seen. They've just beaten us, they obviously beat England not too long ago, so they're a team that's confident in these conditions,” Smith told the media during the post-match press conference in Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

Also read: Bangladesh create history, beat Australia by 20 runs

“They've got some good players. I thought that Tamim Iqbal looked very good at the top of the order, chanced his arm and played some good aggressive cricket. Shakib played particularly well in the first innings and bowled well in both innings as well, so their experienced players really stood up in this game for them. I thought they played very well,” he said. Smith praised Shakib for the way he batted in the first innings and built up a game-changing partnership with Tamim. “I thought he played quite aggressively in the first innings. Any width he got, he put away. We were probably a little bit short and wide, our fast bowlers, and our spinners probably just didn't hit their lengths quite as consistently as we would have liked. I think that's the key to what Shakib does really well. His lengths are spectacular and he lets the ball do whatever it needs to do off a good length. It's the hardest ball to play, the one that's on a good length, and I thought our spinners were a little bit inconsistent with their lengths,” Smith explained. Smith believes their first innings went wrong for them as their batting should have been much better.

Also read: O’Keefe replaces injured Hazlewood for Bangladesh Test

“Obviously it was a pretty close game. I think the first innings, 260, and that partnership as I said with Shakib and Tamim, that really set them up in the first innings. We probably let them get away a little bit. I thought the first innings probably around 180, 200 would have been a good total for us and then in the first innings we weren't good enough with the bat to get in front of the game, which is always difficult particularly when you're batting last on a wicket here in the subcontinent. It's always going to be tough work,” he said. Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out of the second Test and Australia have named spinner Steve O’Keefe as his replacement. “We've obviously got a few options here. We've got the options to do what we want to do in the second Test match. In the end it's up to the selectors which way they want to go. We've got a few options to play with so we'll wait and see what the wicket looks like in Chittagong and we'll make another assessment there,” he concluded.
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